You wanna get nuts? Let’s get nuts

Another major postponed, a classic links on the brink, and a few ideas for crisis-time golf broadcasts


Did you know that Romans are credited with the first use of glass windows? They used glass blowing techniques from ancient Egypt. This Fun Fact Friday is brought to you by a group of quarantined millennials gazing wistfully out their windows.

News and updates

  • The New York Post’s Mark Cannizzaro reported late Thursday that the USGA has notified Winged Foot Golf Club that the U.S. Open will not proceed as planned in June. The USGA is hoping for a postponement rather than a cancellation. Full Story
  • As courses around the world continue to close for safety reasons, Scotland’s historic Brora Golf Club announced that it will need help in order to survive the COVID-19 crisis. Financial details are not publicly available, but surely Brora is not the only wonderful old course that finds its future in doubt. The boys at No Laying Up are selling towels to raise funds for the club.

The Storylines

Golf broadcasts in a time of quarantine

The PGA Tour is slated to return at the Fort Worth Invitational on May 21. Given the current rate at which COVID-19 is spreading in the United States, that date seems implausible. With the U.S. Open reportedly postponed and the R&A presumably nearing an announcement about the Open in July, it’s starting to feel like the PGA Tour may lose its entire summer.

Yes, all of this sounds dark and scary. But it actually presents a unique opportunity for Ponte Vedra’s bigwigs: try something different! If the NBA is devising creative plans to get basketball back on TV, so should the PGA Tour.

We’re not saying it would be easy. But if the Tour isn’t too married to 72-hole stroke play, it could explore some fun ideas. Whether it’s match play, team events, or The Match, unconventional formats often draw a widespread interest. For Tommy Fleetwood’s sake, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas played a left-handed match last week and the golf internet lost its damn mind. If you put any form of live golf on TV right now, we’re pretty sure people would watch it.

The broadcasts don’t have to be revolutionary. In fact, caution dictates that they should be simple and stripped down. Send a couple of cameramen to follow a few pros playing in Florida and live stream it. Film Rickie and JT next time they hit the links. Convince Brooks and DJ to bet FedEx Cup points on a long-drive contest. Get LPGA players involved. Form a three-person #JupLyfe squad and pit it against an Arizona-based team in alternate shot. Have fun with it!

The obvious holdup would be social distancing. All players and staff involved would need to be cleared of COVID-19 and take extraordinary precautions. You couldn’t have fans on site, but we’re guessing the at-home audience would be healthy enough.

When could the Tour reasonably launch such a project? Not now, when states are shutting down golf courses in order to persuade people to stay home. But say things quiet down by the middle of the summer. If the usual events still can’t be held, pro golf should get creative. Here’s hoping we can make lemonade out of lemons.

More good folks

Our friends at B. Draddy are the latest golf company to join the fight against COVID-19 by dedicating resources to mask production. Their prototype has been approved by the Office of Emergency Management, and they are going to start by distributing masks to police and fire departments near their Wisconsin factory. Awesome to see the B. Draddy folks looking out for their community in this way. Full Statement

The Must-Sees of Public Golf Architecture in America

The Sandbox at Sand Valley (Nekoosa, Wisconsin)


With 17 imaginative greens, the Sandbox is packed with fun. Designed by Coore & Crenshaw and built by longtime C&C associate Jim Craig, this par-3 course squeezes as many thrills as possible out of a small plot of land. No hole is over 160 yards, so Craig and the C&C team were freed up to experiment with extreme green complexes. Many times during your round, you will find yourself holding your breath, hoping you don’t find the wrong side of a severe contour. The Sandbox offers endlessly fun golf on a miniature scale, and it should serve as a model for any community looking to build a smaller, cheaper, but no less delightful version of the game. Full Profile

Insider tip: The Sandbox tends to fill up in the afternoon. Playing in the morning allows for a quicker pace of play—and it beats a trip to the range. -Andy Johnson

Photo credit: Andy Johnson

The Latest from The Fried Egg

Credit Hours: Colorado State Men’s Golf

Many college golf teams had their seasons cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we want to make sure their stories are told. First up, the up-and-coming Colorado State University Rams. Full Story from Will Knights

Shotgun Start: Sunny Abacoa’s moment, Brandel-PGA tiff, and SGS Spotlight on Vijay Singh

This Friday episode begins with an appreciation of the great Sunny “Abacoa” Kim getting the stage he deserves after his MLGT win with the rest of the golf world on hiatus. Then we briefly discuss the PGA of America’s anger at Brandel Chamblee over comments that teaching has been “b**** slapped” back to reality. Our SGS Spotlight segment focuses on the great Vijay Singh. This is a lengthy one worthy of the career of the Fijian. We relive his outrageous peak years and climb to world No. 1 in the middle of the Tiger era. We discuss his three major championships, including a Masters that almost feels overlooked. His sui generis path to the game is given a full account, such as the spartan circumstances of learning to play in Fiji as the son of an airport technician. The controversies of his career are also discussed in depth, including the 1985 cheating scandal that followed him his entire career, his sexist comments about Annika Sorenstam’s exemption into Colonial, the Augusta locker room confrontation with Phil, and his general prickly demeanor with the press and fans. We close with some anecdotes about his work ethic, the admiration he engenders from the pros on the range, and his legacy. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Pro Shop

We’re working on updating our own pro shop stock, but don’t let that stop you from supporting the good people at B. Draddy. Use the code FRIEDEGG15 for 15% off at checkout. Shop now!